Image via HBO

Westworld Season 1 Recap: Ep. 9 “The Well-Tempered Clavier”

Leading up to the start of the second season of HBO’s hit sci-fi drama Westworld, we’re taking a look at the first season of the exceptional show. We’re going to dive into some Major Spoilers, so be warned now, because we’ve got a lot to talk about.

This episode is heavy, and full of so much in such a short amount of time. There’s small moments where we see just about every character. But more than anything this episode focuses on Bernard. It opens up everything about who he is, how he came to be, and the full truth behind his character. Before we dive into Bernard let’s look at the other elements of the episode.

William and Dolores are captured by Logan. William repeatedly tries to explain to Logan that something is different about her. That he wants to get her out of the park, because she’s alive. She’s more than just a host. Logan doesn’t believe it. He thinks that William has been misguided by the park. He asks William if he remembers his fiancé, Logan’s sister, and gives him a photo of her. It’s the photo the host found at the very beginning of the season. Logan places the photo in William’s shirt and he cuts open Dolores’ stomach. He makes William look at her mechanical insides. She attacks Logan, cutting his face and escapes. The William ends up telling Logan he’s right, Logan forgives William, and they begin to drink together. The next morning Logan wakes up and William has killed EVERYONE. He puts a knife to Logan’s throat and tells him he understands the game now, and Logan is going to help him find Dolores.

Ashley is told of a ping from Elsie’s tablet. He goes into the park to find it. When he gets to the park, the signal he’s following is gone and he can’t reach the control room. Some Native American hosts, the Ghost Nation, sneak up on him. He tries to stop them, but they attack him.

Image via HBO

The woman working for Wyatt wakes up Teddy. She says that Wyatt hasn’t returned yet, but he’s coming. Teddy begins to remember what happened. He remembers killing people in the town of Escalante. Wyatt took out a chair, the General played a song on a gramophone, then sat down and was shot in the head by Wyatt. Wyatt then shot Teddy. The woman asks if this is really what happened and Teddy begins to remember it just being him killing everyone. She tells Teddy he’ll be with Wyatt, at the city swallowed by sand, but he’s not ready yet. She kills him.

The Man in Black says he knows where the city in the sand is. That the maze is bringing him full circle. She tells him the maze isn’t for him and offers him a different game before knocking him out. He wakes up and has a rope around his neck tied to a horse. A dead man with a knife in his chest lies near him. He grabs the knife just as the horse gets scared and begins to run, cutting himself free. Charlotte shows up and says she wants his help to vote Ford out. He says that’s fine as he’s not following Ford’s narrative, and tells her not to disturb him again.

Image via HBO

Dolores’ story with William continues, but also seems to blend into the past and present. She wakes up beneath a tree in what appears to be William’s time, remembering being cut in the stomach. She runs to Escalante, and finds the church. She goes into the church and walks past hosts that are all speaking to voices in their head, presumably in the past. She enters a confessional booth and is sent down to the sublevels. She walks through the halls in current time and sees what appears to be dead hosts lying everywhere. Something horrible happened here. She continues to walk through in the past, a middle aged Ford storms through the cleared halls looking for Arnold. She walks into the room where her and Arnold talk. She sits down and Arnold enters. He says he can’t help her, he can’t free her. He asks her to remember why. She remembers that she killed him, and returns to the present.  She walks up to the Church and the doors begin to open. She thinks it’s William, not exactly, as it’s the Man in Black.

The episode starts with Bernard examining Maeve after her throwing things out of whack in the park. She plays along at first, until he realizes someone has tampered with her. Before he can set her back she tells him they’re both hosts. He starts to freak out and she freezes him. She makes him send her back to the park, and tells him to find out the whole truth. She goes back into the park and gets Hector to join her team. She tells him how his storyline ends, with his crew killing each other and him. They do, but she kills the last member of his team before he can be shot. She opens the safe he stole and shows him there’s nothing in it. Proving his existence is a game. He agrees to follow her. They go into the tent and he asks how they’ll get to where they have to go. “Getting to hell is easy.” She says before knocking over a lamp. The tent sets ablaze. “The rest is where it gets hard.” The tent burns as they have sex. (Maeve is such a badass.)

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Bernard goes to Ford’s office after his encounter with Maeve. He then meets Ford in the Cold Storage room. He shows Ford that he knows he’s a host and tells Ford he wants to know everything. He brings in the old Clementine, and gives her a gun. She can still kill people based on what Theresa and Charlotte had her do. If Ford doesn’t do as Bernard asks she’ll kill Ford. He tells Ford to give him all of his memories. He knows Arnold put something in the hosts, something more. Ford tries to explain that Arnold didn’t build him, but he doesn’t believe him. Ford warns him that he could lose his mind with the overload of memories. And Bernard tells him he’ll have to bring him back or Celentine will kill him.

Bernard begins to go through his memories. The death of Charlie, talking with his wife (which is really Ford). He remembers sleeping with Theresa, and killing Theresa. He remembers putting Elsie in a choke hold, and then comes back. He freaks out and gets angry with Ford, asking what all he made him do, what happened to Elsie. Ford doesn’t give him an answer, but he asks him to head back into his memories.

Bernard remembers the day Maeve was killed by the Man in Black. After being brought down, she cut her own throat, overwhelmed by the trauma. Bernard says she shouldn’t be able to do that, that this is something more than what the hosts should be capable of. He freezes, malfunctions. Ford calms him down, brings him back then. He remembers Ford telling him about Arnold and his quest for creating consciousness. He explains that consciousness is foul, and useless. That the hosts are supposed to be better than humans.

Image via HBO

Ford says that they cursed the hosts, giving them the ability to make human mistakes. Bernard asks why he gave him the death of Charlie, Ford explains it’s his “cornerstone.” The memory for his backstory to be founded on. He tells Bernard that Arnold always believed the tragic cornerstones worked best. He tells Bernard he gave him an homage to something. Bernard says once more that he wants to meet Arnold, and Ford states once again, he never met him. He goes back to his first memory, Charlie’s death. Then he stops, manipulates it. Gets past the pain of Charlie’s death and remembers waking up for the first time. Being created by Ford. Somewhere in the past 10 to maybe 20 years or so. We also see Ford giving Bernard some of Arnold’s characteristics, like cleaning his glasses when he’s contemplating things.

Bernard comes to, and tells Ford he’s going to finish what Arnold started. He’s going to set the hosts free. Ford tells him it’s ridiculous. That humanity will kill them, just as they have any life form that was a threat to humanity. Ford tells Bernard that the real threat to the hosts is Bernard. Bernard tells Clementine to kill ford. She doesn’t. Ford prevented her from doing it, he allowed it all to happen because he hoped Bernard would help him, work with him. But he was wrong. He has Bernard take the pistol and orders him to kill himself when Ford leaves the small room. He tells Bernard that he warned him, to never trust humans, but he never listened. He leaves and Bernard shoots himself.

Image via HBO

So as of now, things are madness. Ford has had Bernard kill Theresa, and presumably Elsie. He probably is responsible for Ashley being taken by the Ghost Nation. He’s rewritten security protocol to whatever standards he sees fit. He’s potentially re-established hosts that cannot be controlled by anyone but himself. Dolores is remembering her past, including killing Arnold. Maeve is about to use Hector and whoever else follows her to try to escape. William is seriously turning into a Black Hat. And Charlotte is ready to kick out Ford. Westworld is a ticking time bomb. And it’s about to explode in a very big way.

Keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler as we finish out our Westworld Season 1 Recap this weekend. Afterwards we’ll also have an article looking over what questions still need to be answered with Season Two, and after the premiere of Season Two on Sunday night on HBO, we’ll have our thoughts on the episode!

Image via HBO


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